Haleakala Silversword

Haleakala SilverswordA couple of years ago (in our single days) we were fortunate enough to get to travel to Maui and stay with some friends.  While we were there, we took a day to visit Haleakala and take a horseback riding tour of the crater.  Unlike most horseback tours that I’ve been on, this one was worth every penny, even though it was twice as expensive as the others.  They tell you the tour is four hours, but it’s more like 6 or 7 hours.  No complaints from us though.

There is a plant called the Haleakala Silversword that is only found within the crater of the volcano.  Silverswords are related to the sunflowers that all of us are familiar with, but are very unique plants.  Silverswords usually grow for years, like 30/40/50 years, as a sphere that’s low to the ground.  Each year, in June/July, a few Silverswords in the crater will grow a long flowery stalk, and once this occurs the plant dies.  The dead plant still retains its stalk, but it’s obviously dead

Three Stages of Haleakala SilverswordsHaleakala is littered with dead Silverswords, and there are lots of the live, sphere shaped plants to be seen as well.  We were lucky to have an opportunity to go into the crater while the Silverswords were flowering–just seeing that in itself is pretty rare.  But we were able to get a once in a lifetime photo while we were there.  Here, in one frame, is an example of the Silversword in each one of its stages.  This may be the only photo of a plant I think is actually very exciting.

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4 Replies to “Haleakala Silversword”

  1. Diefree,
    I think it would be more considered a bush or plant than a tree, and you aren’t allowed to touch them. I’m not much for cuddling anyway.

  2. between your poll and this post, all i can think of is the song from christmas vacation with the pool and clark staring out the window.

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